Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Autoimmune Delusion or Confusion

Yesterday there was a video going around about autoimmune disease and how food can cure it. I was interested so I watched the video. I thought to myself this is great all I have to do is eat carrots and peas everyday and I will be cured. Insert sarcasm here. I couldn't believe the way the doctor or who ever it was that was talking was actually making it sound like autoimmune diseases are no big deal and meds are not the answer. Then I thought to myself, Yup another so called specialist who has never experienced or doesn't know a single soul with autoimmune disease talking about cures. I'm pretty sure if food were a cure there wouldn't be any Rheumatologists, Neurologist, etc out there in the field. Funny because watching the video it all sounded so cut and dry and so simple, or is it? I wonder what this guy would tell someone who wakes up at night with knives stabbing in their joints even after eating vegetable soup all day. I wonder what he would tell someone who has Myasthenia Gravis and can't move their muscles because there is a blockage of signals going to the muscles due to autoimmune antibodies in their blood. I wonder about a million other symptoms and diseases he has never lived with. I wonder if it were him if his mind would change on his words that make people like me somewhat angry. I am not saying diet doesn't help people. I know it does because I know people who use it as their own treatment. That's great! But there are those of us who need drugs whether the world understands or not. We just do. We all must do what works for us and as with any treatment for any medical issue one might work for one person and not for another. I found the link to this story if anyone would like to watch it. Or Google Fox News on Autoimmune disease and it should show up on the page:

With all that being said last night a AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association) came out with their response: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)
Many of you viewed Fox News "Autoimmune Disease" segment that was broadcast on Sunday. This is AARDA's response.

"This past Sunday’s “House Call” on FOX News Channel (December 8, 2013) underscores just how little the medical community knows about autoimmune diseases – and how much they could benefit from ongoing physician education. With all due respect to FOX and the show’s co-hosts, Dr. David Samadi and Dr. Marc Siegel, the segment was full of misinformation.

First, we at AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Inc.) and the many autoimmune disease patients who have posted comments on AARDA’s Facebook page, were shocked to hear the doctors discussing diet as the cause of autoimmune diseases.

There is no credible medical research of which I or a member of AARDA’s Scientific Advisory Board are aware that verifies Dr. Samadi’s claims that sugar, milk, meat, trans fats or processed foods cause autoimmune diseases. None of these have been shown to prompt the autoimmune response. The one exception is gluten in people who suffer from autoimmune celiac disease.
Sugar, it has been suggested, may increase the inflammation associated with autoimmunity but has not been proven to cause autoimmunity. Eating fruits and vegetables that contain anti-oxidants can help to reduce inflammation, but doing so does not prevent the inflammation from occurring – again, that is a result of an autoimmune response.

However, to suggest that diet causes autoimmune disease was erroneous and misleading and a real disservice to the millions of Americans living and coping with diseases that are serious and, in some instances, life-threatening illnesses. To suggest to a young, female lupus patient who has lost a kidney that it was her fault because she ate too much sugar is irresponsible. We imagine FOX’s own broadcast anchor, Neil Cavuto, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, would be surprised to learn his disease is his own fault because he eats meat.
Also misleading was the co-mingling of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is not an autoimmune disease and while diet certainly does play a role in its onset, the intake of sugar has never been shown to cause Type 1, the autoimmune version of the disease.
There are more than 100 known autoimmune diseases that are classified as rheumatologic, dermatologic, neurologic, gastroenterologic, endocrinologic, multi-system, etc. For physicians to take this umbrella category of disease and term it a “syndrome” on national television again demonstrates the need for increased physician education which is becoming an increased focus for AARDA.

Autoimmune diseases are wide-ranging and complex. They require care by skilled, experienced physicians. Improving the American diet is an important, laudable goal, but no substitute for the tested and proven treatments increasingly available for many of the autoimmune disorders.


I don't know about you but I am thankful for a voice for all of us. All of us who live it and have to listen to people downgrade our diseases like they are all made up or something. We all do the best we can whether it includes a good diet alone or along with drugs. In the end it is our own decisions we make on how to deal with our pain and suffering because of what autoimmune disease does to us.

God Bless!


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